daily devotional

This morning I woke up singing a song that my husband often blasts through the house. It’s “Choose Joy” by King & Country. Admittedly, that title doesn’t quite do this song justice. It sounds a little mansy-pansy, but it’s got a kick to it that makes you move. And trust me, if my husband likes it, it’s not a touchy feely weepy song. (Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/lA7n7TwPDmw)
How would your day be if you woke up singing this song?

And I choose joy
Let it move you, let it move, let it move you
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of night
Oh, with You by my side, I’m stepping into the light
I choose joy
Let it move you, let it move, let it move you

The question is, will you choose joy today? Maybe your answer is “you’ll see what comes your way today and if it’s a good day you’ll choose joy.” That’s the logical answer. But that leaves you at the mercy of the weather, at the mercy of potential jerks and idiots, and at the mercy of the news, the neighbors, the kids, and the dog. Not to mention your jeans fitting, your hair fixing, and your coffee being a never ending cup of perfection. Seems to me the odds may be stacked against your joy today.

And of course the odds are stacked against your joy because you live in a fallen world where there’s a battle for your life. Your joy is your strength. In the absence of joy you are weak, and if you are weak, you are vulnerable to defeat by the enemy. You are rendered ineffective in this day of life because miserable people sulking in sorrows, worries and overwhelm aren’t out there bringing a whole lot of people to Jesus now are they?

Don’t you see how your joy is under attack? And perhaps you also see how the attacks have been successful. You’ve allowed life’s circumstances to toss you around like a wave. You’ve been up and down, back and forth and all over the place with your circumstantial happiness and unhappiness. This constant uncertainty of what life may bring leaves us fundamentally unhappy.

Understand this, God is JOY. He is always happy. That’s hard for us to imagine because we have painted a picture of a God who is angry. But God IS happiness. He IS joy. At the core of who God is you find love and joy. The essence of God is happiness. To find God is to find the fountain of joy.

God looks at you and I, as flawed as we may be, as wrong as we may get it sometimes, and he rejoices over us. How can he do that when we are so far from perfect in our lives? Because he IS JOY. And when you ARE joy, rejoicing comes naturally. Get it?

Now, here’s the really good news … God is offering his joy to you. He says “I am joy and I’m going to give it to you. Get this down deep in you because it will change everything.” If you become the essence of joy and you have his joy down in your heart and down in your heart to stay, you will be moved to live life in a completely different way. Suddenly circumstances have no effect on your happiness. You rejoice over the jerks and idiots who used to ruin your day. You don’t skip a beat when plans fall apart and bad news comes knocking on your door. Why? Because you’ve tapped into the joy of the Lord, and it is pure POWER!

Nehemiah 8:10 says “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Oh, you know that scripture but it’s time to buy into it. If you’re feeling weak or overwhelmed, you need strength and this scripture tells you exactly where to get it. The joy of the Lord. God is joy. When you seek him you find joy. When you spend time with him, you fuel up with happiness.

Regardless of what comes your way today, you can tap into the joy God is offering you and be strong in happiness. But it’s a choice. You either choose it, or you don’t. And I’ll be honest with you, your day has a pretty good chance of becoming crappy somewhere along the way if you forgot to choose joy. Life happens. Accidents happen. The flu is contagious. Gray hairs grow. Boobs sag. Wrinkles appear. And don’t even get me started on those chin hairs that grow overnight. Oh we all pretend like we don’t have them, but you and I both know the truth here.

If you’re waiting for perfect days to be happy, then good luck my friend. My perfect days are few and far between. But my happy days are in abundance. Why? Because my circumstances don’t dictate my happiness, my God does. I get to choose joy every day, and that joy makes me strong. That joy colors everything I see and everything that happens. Even the bad stuff is viewed with a sense of “it could have been so much worse, but it wasn’t, so I’m happy about that!”

When you choose joy, it moves you. It moves you from a place of life happening to you, to life happening FOR you. God isn’t against you, he is FOR you and every step of the way, even through the shadows of darkness, he is offering his joy as a choice. His joy will change everything. It will bring light and happiness. It will bring a shift of perspective that doesn’t require a change in circumstances for you to be fundamentally happy.

Let his joy move you today. Chose it over and over again today. I choose joy.

*Now blast that song and choose JOY with me! Ahhhh yeah, you’ve got yourself one amazing day ahead of you because of your choice.)